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Charlie Blackmon, Rockies avoid arbitration with $14M deal

MLB, Colorado Rockies

The Colorado Rockies and All-Star center fielder Charlie BlackmonĀ on Friday agreed to a one-year deal worth $14 million, a source told ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, confirming multiple reports.

Blackmon, who will be eligible for free agency after the 2018 season, nearly doubled his salary from 2017, when he made $7.3 million.

The 31-year-old slugger finished fifth in National League MVP voting after winning the NL batting title with a .331 average, and he led the majors in hits (213), runs scored (137), triples (14) and total bases (383). He also had 37 home runs and 104 RBIs for the Rockies last season while earning a Silver Slugger Award for the second consecutive season.

Blackmon also set a major league record for most RBIs in a season by a leadoff man, driving in 103 runs from the top spot to best Darin Erstad's mark of 100 RBIs set in 2000 with the Angels. His 37 home runs from the leadoff spot ranked third all time behind Alfonso Soriano, who hit 38 with the Yankees in 2002 and 39 with the Nationals in 2006.

In seven seasons, all with Colorado, Blackmon, who also was an All-Star selection in 2014, has 111 home runs and 355 RBIs to go along with his career .305 batting average.

In other deals, second baseman DJ LeMahieu agreed to an $8.5 million deal after making $4.85 million in 2017. He played in a career-high 155 games last season, hit .310 and made the All-Star team.

Right-hander Chad Bettis agreed to a $2 million deal ($545,000 in 2017). He was one of the feel-good stories in baseball last season in his return from testicular cancer. He underwent surgery in November 2016 and went through treatments during the spring and into the season before returning to the rotation Aug. 14. The 28-year-old Bettis made nine starts in 2017 and finished 2-4 with a 5.05 ERA.

Left-hander Chris Rusin got a raise from $545,000 to $1,287,500 after going 5-1 with a career-best 2.65 ERA in 60 relief appearances in his sixth season with the Rockies.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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